Few experiences can top Opening Day in Cincinnati, Ohio. The parade, sold-out stadium and increased number of media members are just a few things that cause the first baseball game of the year to sometimes take a backseat to the pageantry that surrounds it.

Not this time.

We met up with a group of friends, affectionately known as the Power Stack Pack, on Fountain Square and found a place to watch the parade before heading down to the stadium. The walk to Great American Ball Park is always filled with excitement and anticipation, but Opening Day raises those feelings to a new level.

After the pregame ceremonies, it was time to get down to business. Edinson Volquez tested the patience of every Reds fan by surrendering back-to-back home runs to start the game. Dusty Baker stuck with his starter for six innings despite allowing five runs on seven hits. Volquez turned it over to the bullpen with the Brewers holding a 5-2 lead.

Around the seventh inning, many “fans” began filing out of Great American Ball Park. Most of these people attend Opening Day and won’t be back until the playoffs, if the Reds are fortunate enough to make it.

A friend of mine commented about the people leaving early, to which I replied, “Apparently, they forgot that this team came from behind to win so many times last year.”

Trailing 6-3 and heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Reds went to work.

Brandon Phillips led off with a single. After Joey Votto walked, Scott Rolen reached on a fielder’s choice when Phillips displayed some fancy footwork to avoid a tag on his way to third base. Jay Bruce struck out before Phillips scored on a sacrifice fly by Jonny Gomes.

That brings me to my question of the day. The Reds now had Rolen on first, Votto on second, trailed by two and were down to their final out. Ramon Hernandez was coming to the plate. What happens if Hernandez hits a ball in the gap? My guess is Rolen, the tying run, either gets held at third or takes the risk of being thrown out at the plate. The point is I would have liked to see someone run for Rolen.

None of that mattered thanks to Hernandez. He launched a ball into the Milwaukee bullpen for a three-run, walk-off funkblast!

Yes, it was one game…but it was a great game.

Baseball is back.

Are you in Reds Country?

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